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Nov 12,2007
N. Ireland rebels announce stand-down
by UPI

BELFAST, Northern Ireland - A Northern Ireland separatist group announced an end to its militancy but stopped short of giving up its weaponry.

In a statement released Sunday, the Ulster Defense Association said "the war is over, and we are now in a new democratic dispensation that will lead to permanent political stability," the BBC reported.

The statement said its Ulster Freedom Fighters was shut down and called for anyone aware of loyalist activities to notify police.

Northern Ireland Secretary Shaun Woodward said he was pleased with the development but said there needed to be a declaration of arms abandonment.

"They will be judged by their actions, not their words," he said.

The group's militant wing has been linked to more than 400 killings during the period Britain describes as "The Troubles."

© 2007 United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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